Friday, September 16, 2005


Wow, Boreanz turns out to be the genuine TV star of the Whedon bunch. Hot damn. Pity he's lumbering through those speeches. Nice military background, though. But why hint at it so adroitly in Act One, and then decide to puke it all up before the end of the show?

Thank you for not just laying pipe, but laying all the interpretation to the pipe, just in case we didn't get how somebody's parents disappearing might affect them. And thanks too for mentioning the disappearing parents/orphan thing five times.

One other small problem -- Boreanz is so filthily likable in this role, when the scientists ("squints") unload the snark, you hate them for dumping on the one guy you like in the show. Hell, guys, technically I'm a squint, and I can't stand these condescending know-it-alls to a one. They are not quirky. They are hateful. You know, I'm a die-hard enemy of the whole "liberal Hollywood" trash, but there is an issue with many writers not actually having any experience outside film school and Hollywood -- which leads to bits which boil my blue-collar bartending blood. As they discuss the lead (Deschanel) shooting the suspect, and how she might get in trouble:

Boreanz: "She did shoot the guy with no warning, and alcohol on her breath."
Assistant Squint: "How many guys did you warn when you sniped them?"

At that point, Boreanz's character is well within his rights to grab this fuckwit by the neck and say: "Huh, I don't know, let me think back on when I spent SIX YEARS SERVING MY COUNTRY, RISKING MY LIFE EVERY. FUCKING. DAY AND FORSAKING MY OWN GODDAM HUMANITY IN ORDER TO KEEP OTHER BASTARDS FROM PUTTING A .303 THROUGH THE BRAINPAN OF SOME RESERVIST WHO JUST WANTED TO GET HOME TO HIS WIFE AND KIDS." And then banging that arrogant little shit's pasty face against a tombstone until he passes out whimpering in his soiled Dockers.

That's how I would've written it. But fielder's choice I guess.

I'll give it one more, expecting that a fair amount of the endless pipe and the awful "I'm super-good at everything" shit they loaded on Deschanel's character were monstrously clumsy network pilot notes. You've got to give big props for the in media res drop into the character relationships, and were some nice bits of dialogue, so one more.


MikeyMo said...

Word and word. DB was really good, everyone else annoyed the crap out of me.

"Bones" is a super-scientist/black belt/crack shot/best-selling author, AND she's immune to kryptonite unlike that pussy Superman. Ugh.

Still, I'll give it another shot.

Cunningham said...

You are far more forgiving than I...

Anonymous said...

Another thing I didn't believe: that the anthropologist could write a novel when she has trouble with, y'know, empathy.

Anonymous said...

I caught that "how many people did you warn" line too. It was a stupid thing to say. While conflict between characters can be interesting, conflict with a character who is supposed to be smart saying stupid things feels manufactured.

Anonymous said...

For a bunch of squints, they sure have a nice place to work. I know some post-docs that would kill for a window, much less an atrium...

Anonymous said...

Having read and enjoyed Kathy Reichs' books, I am SEVERELY disappointed with the TV version. I agree with all your criticisms, plus the whole holographic 3-d rotating reconstruction projection was ridiculous. I'll give it one more watch, but only because I remember how bad the X-Files pilot was.....

Anonymous said...

I've given up on "Bones" already.

How could a network put this show on their schedule and not pick up "Angel"?

That's it, I'm quitting film school.

david golbitz said...

I thought it was pretty good for a first episode. I'm willing to give it another shot or two. There are just so few shows I can stand to watch anymore, but I think this one has a bit of potential.

But you know what show really kicked ass? That season premiere of House. Man, do I like that show. Hugh Laurie plays such a great miserable bastard.

Anyone catch Supernatural? Actually wasn't half bad. They did a good job with the creepy. That David Nutter is an awesome director. He did some of my favorite X-Files and Millenium episodes.

Anonymous said...

Well, I liked seeing a genius woman on TV. Period. Okay, she's out of touch with pop culture, and she lacks empathy. No one's perfect.

I loved DB in Angel, but he's a little too cocky so far for me. I've run into too many guys in real life who think that being a guy makes them better than any woman, regardless of talent, credentials, intelligence, whatever.

I'm willing to stay with the show a while and see if they relax a bit.


Jameson said...

That's it, I'm quitting film school.

Damn, I wish I'd had "Bones" around when I was in film school; could've saved some cash and heartache.

I think the 3-D hologram software is the last straw. I understand that they want to speed up the old-fashioned modeling clay approach to putting a face on a skull, but why can't it rotate on someone's expensive flat-screen monitor? What's gained by having everyone stand around the image? If anything, resolution is lost because you're constantly seeing through it, and Boreanaz won't quit putting his hand in there.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the show. Your bloody interesting write-up makes me want to now, just so I can decode it. Stop that!

DMc said...

Funny. I didn't mind the hoo-hah in the atrium and the recreation stuff -- it IS tv, and I've been in enough post-doc offices to know that I NEVER want to see THEM on tv...

...and the fact that the woman knew nothing of Pop Culture was my favorite thing about her character.

I just think the supporting cast is really bad. The Squint who gave the max snark in the sniper line could be digitally erased from the pilot and he wouldn't be missed.

I'll probably give it one more too. But probation, for sure. I just find it doubly jarring when good dialogue sits right there alongside clumsily inserted pipe. I agree with John -- the notes from the network must have been ex-cru-ci-at-ing.

Black Eyed Gurl said...

Aww you're a squint! And a Browncoat! You've been linked. Prepare your deposition for the sueing of Acme Paper Bag Co.

BTW: I'm hoping that the Squints are going to get nicer in the next episode, this was only the pilot. Although Asian holograph-program-writing-squint wasn't too evil. I liked her.

Check out Supernatural. It doesn't suck, and thus will most likely be cancelled soon.

queenofattolia said...

Yeah, I was never attracted to Boreanaz as Angel, but he's sort of sexy as an FBI agent who gets to stand in the sunlight a lot. As for Deschanel -- well, I love her sister and thought I'd love her too, but you're right -- her character is fairly insufferable. I think that's deliberate, though, so that sexy David can wear her down or something, which of course is stupid and predictable. And the supporting cast sucks. Why am I watching this?

Anonymous said...

the only good thing about that show was DB.
The Wonder Woman Brennan was annoying as unbelievable and her sidekicks hatefull.
The fact that in a lot of sites the show has a serious negative response about the writting, Brennan and Deschanel is something to worry about: if you hate the lead character you're in trouble. (Brennan is not a love/hate Dr House). I coulnd't care less for her, her parents or whatever.
Also the writers have a serious problem is they think that a "strong woman" is someone that goes hitting three people per episode, dismissing and answering with arrogance to everyone about anything, thinks that she's over the law and can go around almost costing the entire investigation.. That's not strong, that's a woman with violence issues and superior complex... If that's feminism, women are in trouble.
Also, Deschanel is a miscast. Flat tone, like three facial expressions, speaking problems... she's barely average. I didn't like her at all in this or in her previous works. So, a really bad characterization of the lead, in a episode where you knew almost everything all about her except her DNA and social number (another big mistake) and a barely average actress is not good at all.
Pitty DB is into this... they trying to sale it like CSI, X-files and Moonlighting and thanks to the dialogue for momments is near to The Simple Life.

Anonymous said...

I know it's petty, but his name is in fact Boreanaz.

Amandarama said...

I watched it for Boreanz. I agree with you that a lot of it was so very clumsy, but that there was also a couple moments of good dialogue. I'll try it one more time next week.

jeppy said...

Heh, well as a fellow scientist, I have to admit that a lot of the faculty in acedemia think as highly of themselves as Dr. Mary Sue Squint ... but few of them follow through to that level of annoying. *gag* I actually feel sorry for Boreanz for having to do the show.

Caught Supernatural though and it looks promising, if painful that its up against House.

Anonymous said...

My take was about the same as John's, although the thing that bugged me the most (besides the way that everyone is just so condescending to each other) is the feeling I get that they're just making things up. "squint"? "soaker"? And that hologram machine, which really must be powered by magic. (The purpose of it on the show, I suspect, is to allow them to superimpose a static CG image over the cast as the camera spins around and around to get reaction shots.)

And, of course, there's the fact that in the real world, foreignsic anthropologists are far from rare -- there's actually too many of them, most can't get jobs in their chosen field.

kevbayer said...

Anonymous said...
I caught that "how many people did you warn" line too. It was a stupid thing to say. While conflict between characters can be interesting, conflict with a character who is supposed to be smart saying stupid things feels manufactured.

Just because someone is smart doesn't mean they can't say (or do) something stupid.
Just because that squint is a scientist, doesn't mean he doesn't know how to mind his manners, or isn't a smarta$$, or lacks respect for the role of the military.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this was like the original Star Trek: The Next Generation with a sucky pilot any one remember the giant space squids?). The writing improved a lot after only a couple of episodes.

I do agree that the writers were a little crazed about laying the backgroud stories of the main characters. "Just in case you haven't heard... her parents DISAPPEARED." "I know your parents ABANDONED you." "I know you're trying to make up for your parents DISAPPEARANCE..." Yikes. Once is enough, seriously. More than that and it's annoying.

Third, they definitely need to get rid of snarky squint. I agree that Booth was well within his rights to give him a graveside ass-kicking. And the guy is so a virgin. I know I, for one, woudln't want to be with someone so uncute and yet so stuck on himself. Both very much turn offs.

Bones gets a few more episodes or until cancellation, whichever comes first.

Anonymous said...

I love David, and his FBI character was okay, but wasn't bowled over by the show. I didn't really like the scientist, Bones. She seemed kind of childish to me, like a teenager. Also, they layed on her not getting the pop culture thing a little thick. I also hated her lab crew. I'm willing to watch it again to see if it gets better. I agree there could be chemistry between them, but I'm afraid at this point I'm just not crazy over this woman who is the main character in the show. I watched "Threshold" and loved it. All the characters are good, and the female lead is great, plus the story is interesting. It reminded me of "Xfiles". I wish David could of been on that show instead.

Unknown said...

yes, kev, you're right. But you don't have somebody say something hateful and stupid (and not being particularly charming or useful to offset this) without implying that you would like the audience to believe them hateful and stupid. And I'm a bit confused as to why you'd populate a show with a 3-2 hateful/likable factor.

Victor said...

So Rogers, I agree with you on the over-talented Deschanel character — a bit much to take, there. But it definitely seems to be one of the more digestible items on offer this fall.

WTF is with all these water-based shows?'Surface','Invasion','Threshold'? Is it that all the networks are too scared to deal with space-oriented shows after Berman and Braga ran their cash-cow into the lake?

Lastly, did you see that Braga show? What-the-fawk? I like Carla Gugino as much as the red-blooded hetero guy, but I REALLY doubt she'll be able to pull this turkey out of the funicular.

If water is the new space, will all of these shows be going inter-galactic if they survive a first season (just like SeaQuest...)?

Bug-Eyed Earl said...

I think one thing we haven't really touched on is how science is inherently the enemy and cause of all of our problems, according to Hollywood.

One might think the message of Jurassic PArk is that the scientists tried to played God and it blew up in their faces. But the main problem was a shitty security system and one shifty guy to fuck it all up at the worst possible time.

We live in a world where scientists are increasingly shouted down and whose observations are increasingly dismissed by those with barely a modicum of scientific knowledge; witness how mroe people listen to RUSH FRIGGIN LIMBAUGH about global warming than a qualified planetologist or climatologist.

Anonymous said...

John, you're a trained scientist - what's the deal with the whole anti-science mood in the US these days? And then they wonder why other countries like Japan and China and India are starting to catch up and take over? Is there any way to re-ignite the "science is our friend" fervor of the 1950's?

Unknown said...

"Is there any way to re-ignite the "science is our friend" fervor of the 1950's?"

Yes. And it is called The CORE: The Series. Available in boxed sets of 13 eps only, this December.

Anonymous said...

"Is there any way to re-ignite the "science is our friend" fervor of the 1950's?"

Yes, it's called getting the current administration out of the White house.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Jason said...

My problem with the show is that it lazily panders to the audience. It gives what's expected, but doesn't put much effort into it at all. It's like they spent more time and effort on hitting CSI's marks than they did on the characters and stories.

We've got what would be a MarySue if this were fanfic as the main character, who even has a catch phrase already. We've got supremely cliched stories that have been done to death, and don't even try to do something different. We've got a techno soundtrack, crafted by The Crystal Method, no less.

That said, we've got annoying pretentious geeks who actually come off as utterly unlikable as annoying pretentious geeks do. Sure, it's accidental, but they did get it right.

I'm guessing that the show'll be a minor hit.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'll just say "me too". I like DB's character, the series main character is okay, and all the ensemble cast leaves me cold. I'm hoping they figure it out quickly (or not, so I can remove it from my list of shows to watch).

At some level you either need to like or respect the characters. Sympathy works too.

Even when I'm supposed to hate a character (i.e. a villain or antagonist), it helps to be able to like to hate him, if that makes ANY sense to someone other than me.

One of the reasons I like House is that the series main character isn't likeable, but you have to respect the guy.

In the case of Bones, I'm either bored with most of the ensemble cast or outright want to fling things at the TV when they are on. That is not a good sign. :D

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